Join Us for an Interactive Social Media Workshop

Are you in social media but frusterated where to focus your efforts? Do you fear that your post are not being seen? Having problems handling negative feedback?

Increase Your Know How in the Ever Changing Social Media World:
Get some tips from the pro!

  • Create a Theme for Each Month and Plan Ahead: Keep a dedicated calendar with important dates such as holidays or your anniversary and create content that highlights both. For example, if your month theme is “Back to School” you’ll want to post pictures, tips, and quotes that are tailored to the theme.
  • Facebook Live: Are you a coach or is educating a part of your business model? Then you’ll want to get on the Facebook & Instagram Live train! Posting a daily tip or moment of inspiration engages followers on a deep level because it creates humanization of your brand. And, you can save the video to your feed and reference them at a later date if you’re struggling for content.
  • Best Time to Post: Post at different times of the day to see where you get the best results. You may be surprised to find that your followers and fans are online at unexpected hours.
  • Give a Shoutout: Everyone loves being recoginzedfor their loyalty. If somone shares a picture, use it! Giving them credit and thanking them for taking a great shot shows people you appreciate everyone who supports your business.

Get more tips and tricks like these in our 2-part social media workshop. September 18th & 25th at the Holiday Inn Express in Medina. Bring your laptop and get personal attention and tools you can use right away! Learn to be consistent and original to stand out above the noise. Discover better understanding of reputation management through social media.

LIMITED SEATING! Sign Up Early for Discount.
REGISTER AT www.womens-journal.com/workshop

Call 330-722-5788 to register or for more information.

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Where Do You Belong?

By Diane Helbig

We all know that networking is a key to business growth. And we know that there are a lot of opportunities to network. There are the places our friends go, the places in our communities, online, offline, and industry-related organizations.

Sometimes the sheer number of options can feel overwhelming. So how do we decide where to invest our time and money? Try this 3 step plan:

1. Determine what you hope to achieve. What do you want to get out of your membership or involvement in an organization? This is a huge question. Sometimes we confuse our goals, and that can cause us to join the wrong group or organization. For example, The Rotary is a philanthropic organization first and foremost. Yet, some people join it thinking they will be able to sell to the other members. Not, in my opinion, a good reason to join the Rotary.

So, be clear on why you are joining that particular organization. And if I may add, your reason should align with the main purpose of said organization.

2. Explore what is out there. First do your research. Discover what exists that matches with your goals. Take a deep look at them.
a. What do they value?
b. Who else is a member?
c. What kinds of events do they have?
d. What do they expect of their members?
e. What is the investment, both in time and dollars, to be a member or participate?

You may find that some are worth exploring for membership while others are good to just visit periodically as a guest. And don’t be swayed by your friends. Just because something works for them doesn’t mean it is the right solution for you!

3. Once you’ve narrowed your list, go visit. When you are there be open to really experiencing what it’s like. What are the people like? The programming? The structure? You are really trying them on for size to see if they are a good fi t for you and your business. Visit twice if you can. First impressions can sometimes be deceiving.

Now that you’ve found where you think you should be, join. And get involved. Give it all you’ve got proportional to what they expect. You can’t just join and expect good things to happen. You have to be participating; you have to build relationships. I hear it all the time, “I joined the Chamber but didn’t get any business out of it.” Did you go to the events? Did you get on a committee? Did you follow up with the people you met at the luncheon?

Right! Networking is an investment of time and energy. You have to work it. When you are looking for different venues to network, think about exploring the different types of organizations. There are chambers, industry associations, constituent specific groups (like women’s groups), and structured networking like BNI. There are also group coaching like Business Opportunity Network, mastermind like Vistage, and affiliate groups.

There is a lot to explore out there. Use the 3 step process above and get started. The sooner you are connecting with others on a deeper level, the sooner you will be growing your business.

Copyright© 2016 Seize this Day

Diane Helbig is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker, and radio show host. As a certified, professional coach, president of Seize This Day, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably.

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www.SeizeThisDay.co

Don’t Need to Check Your Own References? Better Think Again.

You May Be Surprised About What Your References Are Really Saying About You

DETROIT (April 13, 2016) – How many of us have heard this oft-spoken mantra before: Your former employer is only allowed to divulge your employment dates and title you held with the organization.  Their company policy states that no negativity about you as a former employee can be offered.

If you’re confident that your former employers will always adhere to this policy, you might want to think again.  Reference checking firm Allison & Taylor indicates that approximately half of the thousands of reference checks they conduct, reveal some form of employer negativity (typically from either former supervisors or Human Resources personnel).  Put another way, what you don’t know can – and almost surely will – prevent you from getting new employment at some future date.

To address this, it is critical that you first identify exactly what your former employers are actually “offering up” about you to potential new employers.  In addition to intentional negativity, employers sometimes inadvertently offer information that (for example) may contradict information you have put on your resume.  Here is a summary of why you would be well advised to check your own references before embarking on a new job search:

  1. Your references may not be saying what you expect.  If your reference is offering any negativity about you whatsoever, it will put you at a disadvantage vis a vis other candidates whose references are either glowing or neutral.  Your odds of landing that job will be negligible at best.
  2. Prospective employers will not tell you if they have uncovered any reference negativity about you.  Instead, they will simply tell you that they have “decided to go in a different direction” or – more likely still – you will simply never hear from that company again.
  3. The company’s comment policy may not be what they think it is.  Again, many people assume that an employer can’t or won’t say anything of a negative nature, and are unpleasantly surprised to find out this may not be the case.  Employers all-too-often say unflattering things about former employees.
  4. Your reference contact may no longer work for the company.  Many job seekers make the mistake of not staying in close contact with the person they intend to use for a reference.  You need to ensure that person is still there to respond to inquiries.  If your reference is no longer there, a reference checker may end up with someone who won’t cast you in such a positive light.
  5. Your resume information may not reflect their HR records.  Beware a scenario where your former employer has different employment dates, position title, or supervisor listed than what you have presented.  This type of discrepancy might suggest to a new employer that you are being less than truthful about your former position’s title or responsibilities.
  6. You may have been omitted from the HR records entirely.  This can occur in the case of mergers, where not all records make the transfer into a new system.  It is also not uncommon with the self-employed; many companies do not hold records for a contractor in their HR system.  It will reflect poorly on you when an employer calls and is told that there is no record of you ever having worked for their company.

Fortunately, reference-checking organizations such as Allison & Taylor can quickly and easily help you verify exactly what your former employers will say about you.  In the event that any “unpleasant surprises” are revealed, be aware there are tools likely to ensure that a reference problem is successfully addressed.  Again, the first step is to find out what your previous employers are really saying – the career you save, may be your own.

Find Your Local Boutiques

bou•tique [boo-teek]- small fashionable shop • exclusive business offering highly customized service or product • a small business, department, specializing in one aspect of a larger industry.

Below are a few local boutiques you’re going to want to check out!

The Latest Trends in Hair Additions
As seen in the latest trend reports, ponytails and bangs are IN. There are many types of synthetic and heat resistant synthetic ponytails including the sleek “Pony Wrap” that uses part of the hair to wrap around the point of attachment to make it look more real and right on trend. Bang pieces are available in short, thick styles or wispier with the sides getting gradually longer. Both ponytails and bang pieces are available in a wide variety of colors. Then there are also clipin hair extensions, you can add instant length and volume with these easy to use clip-in hair extensions. They are available in almost 2 dozen great colors and hair types, from human hair to the new cutting-edge heat defiant fibers. They can be applied so quickly and styled with heat to perfectly match your own hair.

wigs n thingsWigs N’ Things, is a premier wig shop located in Fairlawn, providing a large variety of wigs, hairpieces, and extensions for a specific hair need or just for fun. Wigs N’ Things is started with certified hair experts who are dedicated to finding the solution that fits you and your lifestyle. Wigs N’ Things offers the latest in designer wigs and hairpieces, featuring an assortment of colors, styles, and types of caps to suit every need. Our wig experts will
do a complimentary consult to assist you in choosing the hair solution to create the look you desire, regardless of your hair loss situation. If you have a specialized need a custom piece can be designed to your exact specifications. Wigs N’ Things offers a full line of care products to ensure your investment is properly cared for and a large selection of hats, scarves, and cover ups. Come visit owners, Melisa Jung and Debbie Carter to receive a complimentary consultation today, located at 77 N. Miller Rd. Ste B in Fairlawn.

Find more information at www.wigsnthingsfairlawn.com or call 330.864.5251


Beautiful Fashions at Affordable Prices

Casual elegance is the theme for 2016, with soft pastel colors and shimmering materials. Off the shoulder styles and dangling earrings are the hottest trends on the runways. Stop into today to find the perfect piece that has “Owl” Eyes on You! This dynamic Mother and Daughter team travels to various fashion shows throughout the year seeking new
and exciting pieces at afordable prices! Discover unique jewelry, fashion accessories, clothing, beautiful gift ware, owl pieces, fun home goods and local artisans. Find the perfect gift for someone special or lift your spirits with a new spring outfit!

Owl Eyes On You


 

Not Just for Women After Breast Surgery

Imagine going braless and still having full support. Find extensive assortment of fashion bras and solutions for any woman uncomfortable with their everyday bras. Offering innovative products and unique line of clothing from camisoles, nightdresses to workout wear! Bra fittings available in personal and private setting with experienced Board
Certified Fitters. Specializing in: after breast surgery care items, breast forms, brassieres, compression therapy products and MORE! Elegant Essentials is located in Medina at 5164 Normandy Park Dr., Suite 300.

Elegant Essentials

 

PrintFind out what kind of exclusive specials these boutiques are offering to Women’s Journal readers. Check out page 29 in our Cleveland issue or page 19 in our Medina issue.

Tax Saving Strategies For Your Business

By Dawn J. Hryshko, CPA

Many taxpayers dislike the dreaded tax filing season; but there is a way to prepare, and possibly minimize, the taxes you pay.   Below is a list of some tax saving strategies that may reduce your 2015 taxes.

  • The 2015 auto mileage deduction is 57.5 cents per mile for business travel. A company-owned vehicle may produce a greater tax benefit due to depreciation and actual expenses associated with the vehicle. There are limits for personal use of company owned vehicles that should be considered before determining which method would be most beneficial.
  • Timing of revenue recognition and expense deductions. Cash basis taxpayers can prepay expenses before year-end that pertain to the next year and obtain a tax deduction this year. Likewise, services rendered in December can be billed in January to push income into the next tax year.
  • If you work from home and do not have another location to work from, you can take a tax deduction for business use of your home.
  • Pay family members who are in a lower tax bracket for work performed in your business.
  • Establish a retirement plan for your business or increase your pre-tax contribution to an employer-sponsored plan.
  • Contribute the maximum to your HSA.
  • Maximize the Section 179 expense deduction for purchases of ‘new’ property used in your business.
  • Properly classify business meals between what is 50% deductible and what is 100% deductible.
  • Shift itemized deductions to business deductions.
  • Maximize the use of business gifts.
  • Use of tax credits when applicable.
  • Contribute to a 529 plan and receive a $2,000 deduction per beneficiary on your Ohio tax return.
  • Utilize the Ohio Small Business Deduction.

Every tax situation is different. Consult your tax advisor to learn whether any of these items may benefit your tax situation.

Hryshko & Associates was established as a full service boutique CPA firm catering to the sophisticated needs of our clients. We strive to strike the perfect balance between small, local, attentive service and professional experience and expertise.

Dawn Hryshko, owner, has over 25 years of tax and business consulting experience with both public, privately held, and family-owned entities. She was the Tax Director of a multi-billion dollar real estate company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Dawn spent 19 years in Public Accounting , starting at a Big 8 firm in Cleveland, where she specialized in tax consulting for businesses in the real estate and construction industries. Dawn also served on many boards and committees throughout her career while being a dedicated mother of four children.

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What Type of Tax Professional Should You Work With?

By Dawn J. Hryshko, CPA

Although there are several professionals that may prepare tax returns, there are varying levels of expertise and differences in capabilities that should be considered. Before you pay for tax advice and services, ask the advisor about their credentials and abilities as it relates to potential tax benefits and penalties to meet your specific goals.

Who do you currently work with?

  • A tax preparer
  • An enrolled agent
  • A certified public accountant (CPA)
  • A tax attorney

A tax preparer can be anyone you know. Yes, even you can be a tax preparer! There is no formal education required and no federal governance to ensure a tax preparer has the qualifications to prepare tax returns for others. Most big box tax preparation firms fall into this category.

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service with no minimum education requirements. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards to a person who either passes a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.

Individuals who obtain this status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years. Enrolled agents, like attorneys and CPAs, have unlimited practice rights; which means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is required to obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting (which equates to 5 years of college) and pass the CPA exam. Each state governs the requirements for passage of the CPA exam; however, a CPA may work in every state with one license, which helps the taxpayer since the CPA should be well versed in that state’s tax laws as well. Once the CPA certificate is obtained, the CPA must obtain 40 hours of continuing education every year thereafter in order to maintain their license. Many CPAs obtain a Masters in Taxation which enhances their knowledge of tax laws and regulations.

A CPA will not only prepare and file tax returns directly with the IRS, but will also implement tax planning strategies to minimize future taxes, including retirement planning, estate planning, education planning, and business planning. CPAs can be well versed in several areas of taxation and tax law, or may focus on a specialty.

Like CPAs, a tax attorney requires a stringent amount of minimum education requirements and ongoing tax law education, where some even obtain the CPA. They must earn a bachelor’s degree, plus complete law school to obtain a JD, and pass the bar exam. Passing the bar exam means the candidate can practice law in that state only. While some states have transfer agreements, lawyers may need to pass the bar exam for every state in which they intend to practice. An attorney must obtain continuing education in order to maintain their license, which is determined by the state in which they hold their license. Law school graduates may consider enrolling in a 1-year (Masters of Law) LL.M. program in taxation in which they focus on a more specialized area of taxation, such as estate planning, rather than being a tax generalist.

While tax attorneys do not typically file tax returns, they can file lawsuits on behalf of their clients, including cases with the IRS and can represent clients on legal issues including collections, audits, appeals, and payment plans.

Each tax situation is unique. Interview your advisor and ask questions about their experience and credentials. Choosing the right professional will save you time, money and headaches while keeping you on track for your financial future.

Hryshko & Associates was established as a full service boutique CPA firm catering to the sophisticated needs of our clients. We strive to strike the perfect balance between small, local, attentive service and professional experience and expertise.

Dawn Hryshko, owner, has over 25 years of tax and business consulting experience with both public, privately held, and family-owned entities. She was the Tax Director of a multi-billion dollar real estate company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Dawn spent 19 years in Public Accounting, starting at a Big 8 firm in Cleveland, where she specialized in tax consulting for businesses in the real estate and construction industries. Dawn also served on many boards and committees throughout her career while being a dedicated mother of four children.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.21.10 AMDawn J. Hryshko, CPA
Hryshko & Associates
330.220.2722
www.cleveland-cpa.com

Women You Should Know

The Women’s Journal is very excited to feature our WOMEN YOU SHOULD KNOW section, pages 8-27 in our Cleveland edition and pages 22-34 in our Medina County edition.

Their stories will educate, energize and empower! Passion for helping others is the common trait that has led to their success. Each woman takes the time to listen to her customer’s needs and provides exceptional customer service.

Check out our Women You Should Know in our August September issues!

Cleveland edition
CLE WYSKMedina County edition
Medina WYSK

5 New Sales Prospecting Rules to Live By in the Social Selling Era

By Ken Guest
The explosion of social media has created lots of new opportunities for your company when it comes to sales prospecting. Utilizing the tools available to you can expand your business and be a source of continuous lead generation. Or it can cause a very embarrassing publicity nightmare. Here are five rules you should follow to cash in on social media opportunities and become a successful sales professional:

Rule #1: Never Miss A Chance To Connect and Inform.
Social media is not a replacement for active cold calling, but your pages can work in conjunction with this method to reach more people. If you are not reaching out to people on social media and finding out if your product is a good fit for their needs, you are missing key opportunities.  while you may want to adjust your pitch to become more of a conversation on social media, you should be using it for the same purpose as cold calling: See if their problems match your solutions. Simply reaching out to potential leads on social media and starting a conversation will give you a better idea of if your product will fit their business needs.

Rule #2: Let The Data Work For You.
Use social media for data mining. By using your pages for sales prospecting, you gain valuable insights into customer demographics. Social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are great tools for lead generation. This is the over-sharing era, and sales professionals can use this to their advantage. There are filters available for social media sites that will narrow your audience according to age, gender, and many other categories. This gives you the ability to focus more closely on your clients and target customers more specifically.

Rule #3: Research Competitors to Learn Weaknesses and Gain Insights on How You Can Improve Customer Experiences.
Many customers take to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to provide feedback on their user experience. If you are not looking at your competitor’s social media pages on a regular basis, you are missing out on learning their business weaknesses. And by having an understanding of those weaknesses, you are able to highlight your strengths and meet needs that the competitors can’t.

Rule #4: Get Involved In The Process!
Social media gives your business the ability to have open conversations with customers and address any potential issues. These sites are a two-way informational street, and while many businesses may focus on churning out more and more content, you need to be ready to talk openly with your clients. You need to listen to what your customers have to say about you. Having an open conversation with customers through social media is a great way to humanize your business.

Rule #5: Don’t Leave Out The Call To Action!
Prospects need to learn the next steps in the purchase process. Without giving them a call to action, they won’t know what to do with the information you have provided. Make sure you have step-by-step information available that is easy to identify. If potential clients are in any way confused by your social media sites, it will most likely mean they will look in other places for answers. And that could be leading them directly to your competitors.Social media is a great device for sales professionals to utilize, but doing it improperly can be a waste of valuable selling time. Using the traditional tools in conjunction with social media. If you follow these tips to improve your navigation and use of these valuable tools, it will lead to so many more opportunities for you.If you are interested in learning more about Ken Guest, the Ruby Group and Sandler Training and the programs or training offerings available, please contact Ken Guest at 330.421.7347.

Sandler Training

You Can’t Solve Problems with Instant Coffee

If you’re old enough, you may remember a time when the only thing “instant” was instant coffee – magic crystals that, when mixed with hot water, turned into actual coffee.

Today, however, almost everything is “instant.”

There are 24-hour news channels so we don’t have to wait until tomorrow or the evening news broadcast for the details of today’s events. A political protest, earthquake, armed conflict, volcanic eruption, or major sporting event can occur almost anywhere in the world, and thanks to satellite communications, in an instant, the rest of the world not only knows about it, but people are watching streaming video of the event as it unfolds.

The moment a head of state, politician, or celebrity says or does something noteworthy (or more often, not so noteworthy), it’s instantly recorded, reported, and repeated in the media.

We are living in an age that caters to instant gratification…where “fast” is often not fast enough.

So what does the need for instant gratification have to do with solving problems?

Because of our “instant” programming, we expect instant solutions to problems. And that expectation often causes us to too quickly analyze problems and too quickly come up with solutions.

Instant analysis; instant solutions; yield instant results. But, the results don’t last, and the problems, or variations of them, resurface.

Why?

In the rush to solve problems, the “real” problems are not identified. Instead, the analyses and solutions are focused primarily on the “observed” problems – which are only manifestations of the real problems. Consequently, solutions are aimed at the “effect” rather than at the “cause.” And, when causal relationships are not fully explored, or perhaps ignored, the resulting solutions (like instant coffee that is only vaguely related to “real” brewed coffee) are only vaguely related to the “real” problems, and their outcomes are temporary, at best.

Learn to look at problems as the “effect” – the outcome of a system, process, or other chain of events. Then, before looking for solutions, identify what precipitated the outcome – which link in the chain may have given way. Finding the weak link will start you on a path toward a real solution.

Once you’ve identified the weak link, you must determine what caused it to be weak. Was it weak to begin with, or did something happen to weaken it? Then, when you’ve determined the underlying cause for the weakness…look for its underlying cause.

You may have to dig down a few layers to uncover the root cause. Only then can you begin to develop a lasting solution for the “real” problem.

You do this by asking emotionally driven “Pain” questions. The first pain someone shares is what we call the surface pain, it is usually intellectual in nature, and is never the “real” problem. If you ask them to further explain and clarify and dig deeper, you will get the emotional issues or challenges they are facing, and not only will they get more emotionally involved in wanting to make a change (hopefully to your company), but you will get to the root cause.

It will take more than an instant to fully analyze problems. You must be willing to invest the time and look below the surface for the real causes for the weak links. It will take longer, but the resulting solutions will last longer.

If you are interested in learning more about Ken Guest, the Ruby Group and Sandler Training and the programs or training offerings available, please contact Ken Guest at 330.421.7347.

sandler training

Building a Relationship

By Diane Helbig

Building relationships starts with knowing why you want to build them and who you want to build them with. What do you hope to gain from the relationship? Once you’ve identified these things, you can get started. While having a plan for meeting people is a good idea, the only plan you need to start the building process is to remember the 3 Bs. Too many people get caught up in the details and the worries and shift their focus. It’s not your job to convince or persuade. And pushing too hard doesn’t work. It’s simply good enough to be out there, be knowledgeable, and be giving. If you remember – just be – you will always be on track to build lasting relationships.

BE YOURSELF

• It takes less effort to be yourself than it does to create a persona. Besides, people can see the mask a hundred miles away. Their guard will be up before you realize it. Why? Because your focus is off. It’s on you (or I should say, on your creation of you), not on them.

• The “you” who you really are is the one that will resonate with people. And aren’t you a great you?! You’re the best you there is! No one is a better you than you! So do yourself a favor and embrace your genuine self.

BE A GIVER

• Don’t focus on what you want to get. Focus on what you can give. “What goes around comes around.” “The smile you send out returns to you.” Sound familiar?
• Listen. Learn all you can about the person you are interacting with. Find out if there are ways you can help them; have a positive impact on their day.
• Giving can be direct or indirect. It may be something you can give or it may be the case that you can direct the person to someone else who has a solution for them.

BE KNOWLEDGEABLE

• Know what you are talking about and state it simply. Don’t try to wow someone with your “vast knowledge.” Once you’ve listened and learned, you are in a better position to share from your knowledge base and experience. What you have to say will resonate with others.
• Sometimes that knowledge is having resources to offer – other people or companies who know and do things you don’t. This is the indirect giving.

Know what you know; own what you don’t know. Listen with interest and be respectful. Above all else, be yourself. The best relationships are those between people who share common interests, respect each other, and are genuine. Keep it simple and you’ll find it easy to build lasting relationships.

Copyright© 2014 Seize  is Day Coaching

Diane Helbig is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker, and radio show host. As a certified, professional coach, president of Seize This Day Coaching, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably.

Diane is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling, and the host of Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio show. She is also a Service Provider for Constant Contact.

Diane is the marketing chair of WIN Cleveland as well as a COSE board member.

Contact Diane Helbig at (216) 534-2030
www.SeizeThisDayCoaching.com

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